Feeds

Internet Explorer tracks cursor even when minimised

Keep calm: it’s only being exploited by adware blood-suckers ... probably

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A security researcher has published yet another reason not to use Internet Explorer for anything, under any circumstances: it can track your mouse cursor movements, even when it’s minimised.

Affecting all versions newer than IE 6.0, and with no plans for a fix by Microsoft, the bug is demonstrated here (not being an IE user, this El Reg hack hasn’t tested the game).

As the notice from spider.io states, the exploit “compromises the security of virtual keyboards and virtual keypads” – often used as a “secure” login that defeats keyloggers.

“An attacker can get access to your mouse movements simply by buying a display ad slot on any webpage you visit,” the company writes. “The vulnerability is already being exploited by at least two display ad analytics companies across billions of webpage impressions each month. As long as the page with the exploitative advertiser’s ad stays open—even if you push the page to a background tab or, indeed, even if you minimise Internet Explorer—your mouse cursor can be tracked across your entire display.”

The 21-lines-of-code exploit posted by spider.io demonstrates that JavaScript in any Webpage, or any iframe, can poll for the position of the mouse cursor via fireEvent(), because IE “populates the global Event object with some attributes relating to mouse events, even in situations where it should not”.

The Register wouldn't anticipate a fix in a hurry, since the fix would devalue a couple of billion ad-clicks. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.